Thank you, boys!

13 01 2011

Although this article was received a bit late, we thought it was well worth including for our readers.

We commonly imagine Christmas day as a day to spend with the whole family. But if we look around, we discover that it is not so for everyone. Let’s not forget the busy soldiers on foreign missions! Will their Christmas and New Year be like ours? No, and not for their families either.

The pride of representing the tricoloured flag will not make up for the affection they’ll miss from their loved ones. The fact is that Italy remains in the front line in peace missions. While those choose this line of work know the pros and cons of the job, not spending holidays with loved ones isn’t easy for anyone.

There will be a tree and a nativity for the contingents in their ‘second family’, but day and night the soldiers are busy on missions that none of us can imagine or even know about (because every telephone call is monitored).

Thanks to the internet, we can share moments of happiness and the illusion of closeness using instant videocall from every corner of the world; so from a small Italian village a mother can see her son in Afghanistan, an American child can smile to her dad in Iraq and a Spanish woman can send a kiss to her husband in Kosovo. At the very least, this is an improvement to the past. To hear each other as if not so far away and to forget, for few minutes, that their dear ones are not with them, but on the contrary to hear and see them close by through a desktop computer.

Maybe Christmas presents will remain under the tree and in the morning, like all mornings, and in the evenings, for weeks, months, maybe even years, the family will feel incomplete, and a tear will slide down their faces. But also, feeling a bit special, they can do nothing else but to say,

“Thank you, boys!”

And I personally want to say with all my heart, to my brother in Afghanistan,

“Merry Christmas and happy new year, dear. I’m proud of you!”

 

by Maria Rossini, upper intermediate

Advertisements